How was The Nature Conservancy started?
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was founded in 1951 the United States. TNC initially started working on land conservation and has since expanded to tackle other environmental issues around the world, including marine/oceans, freshwater, climate change and urban conservation. We established our first office in Asia Pacific in Palau in 1990 and this year celebrate our 25th anniversary of TNC in the region. TNC has been in Hong Kong since 1997. Initially focused on fundraising, the Hong Kong office now also serves as our regional headquarters and has launched a Conservation Champion membership program with a focus on education and public outreach.
What is the mission of The Nature Conservancy?
TNC’s mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We believe that nature is the infrastructure of life that we all depend on for clean air, water, shelter and safe food and we need to protect the environment and sustainably manage our relationship with nature for our own wellbeing now and for the future.
What is TNC’s geographical focus?
TNC works in all 50 states in the US and more than 35 countries across eight regions including Africa, Australia, Asia and the Pacific islands, Caribbean, Central America, North America, South America and Europe. In Asia Pacific, we have operations in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Micronesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and work on cross border programs in the Coral Triangle and the forests of Southeast Asia. TNC’s focus has always been on tackling some of the most crucial environmental issues and helping to protect lands and waters in key at risk areas around the world.
What are TNC’s goals for Hong Kong specifically?
TNC’s aim in Hong Kong is to help raise the understanding of how nature impacts our quality of life as well as empower and inspire more people to take action to protect the environment that we all depend on. In 2013, we launched a Conservation Champion membership program to galvanise more Hong Kong people around conservation. We are also focused on education and public outreach with our Nature Works Environmental Innovation and Leadership program, which empowers youth in Hong Kong to develop and run conservation projects in their communities, as well as our partnership for the Hong Kong Cleanup which focuses on urban waste issues.
How can Hong Kongers get involved with TNC?
There are so many easy ways to get involved! We invite you to learn more by connecting with us on Facebook and visiting our website for more information on how to become a Conservation Champion. There are also opportunities to join the Hong Kong Cleanup and the Nature Works Environmental Innovation and Leadership Program. We’d love to hear from more Hong Kongers and you can email questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are some of your favourite charities, other than TNC of course?
We love the work that the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation does. They rescue elephants from abusive owners in Thailand and provide them with a sanctuary to stay in Chiang Rai, which is manned by traditional mahouts and their families. Chosen Children Village, a ‘village’ of homes for abandoned children based in the Philippines is also impressive. Locally, we are huge supporters of Mother’s Choice and Room to Read.
All photos courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.